Delivering the message
How you deliver the message in many ways is more important than the message itself.
When we were returning to the city after a 5 year stint in suburbia people kept asking us “how are your kids going to take it”? Our kids were then 8, 6 and 3. Did they really understand that we were returning to the city that Fred and I loved to raise them and that our preferred method of transportation would no longer be a mini-van? I doubted it.
I do remember sitting down with them and telling them the good news. We were ecstatic. Guess what kids we are moving back to the city….YEAH!!! Josh was 3 and he was doing the happy dance. It was all about the delivery. They had zero idea how much their life was about to change.
Everyone takes in information differently. Sitting on start-up boards all these years has been an eye opening experience on how people deliver the message. Like children (and people) everyone reacts differently to how the message is delivered. I have seen board members push founders into a corner and it is usually because the message was delivered in a way that shuts that founder down. Not productive. The message is usually one that needs to be delivered but you want a positive reaction not a negative one.
The message that we are all in this together and we are here to help is definitely more positive and it keeps the lines of communication open. Just like raising children you will get the response you are looking for if the message is delivered in a way that will resonate with the person on the other side. Taking time out to understand how the person on the other side of the table is able to take the message is time worth spent.